Front line essential workers next in line for COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 9:16 PM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 06:31:54-05

Front line essential workers like police and teachers are next in line to get the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While healthcare workers and long term care residents and employees are currently the top priority for vaccinations in Wisconsin, frontline essential workers have been identified by the CDC as the next group to target.

“I think the simplest way to think about it is people we can’t get along without,” said Medical College of Wisconsin Director of Epidemiology Dr. Laura Cassidy.

Dr. Cassidy said people age 75 and older will be joined by firefighters, police, grocery store employees and many more frontline essential workers to get vaccinated between late January and late March. Dr. Cassidy said that’s because society can’t function without them.

"We need our teachers to be protected to be able to teach our students,” she said. We need daycare staff to take care of our children. We need the postal workers to deliver our mail.”

The latest CDC vaccination distribution plan has been expedited as states like Wisconsin are in their second week of receiving Pfizer doses and even more doses are on the way from Moderna.

“And we hope that we’ll begin administering that vaccine late this week or early next week,” said Medical College of Wisconsin CEO Dr. John Raymond Sr.

Dr. Raymond Sr. expects additional vaccines from Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson to be up for FDA approval in mid to late January.

The latest CDC vaccine timeline shows the general population will be able to start getting vaccinated in May.

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